Tuberculosis: return with a vengeance

Nieuws | de redactie
4 september 2012 | Usually tuberculosis control is based on prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis of up to 5%. Yet recent research by Dr Tracy Dalton and colleagues shows the world actually faces prevalence up to ten times higher in some places.

In an article published in The Lancet, Dalton reports data on theprevalence of, and risk factors for, resistance to second-linedrugs in 1278 patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosisfrom Estonia, Latvia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa,South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan. The highest prevalence of MDRtuberculosis documented to date, 47.8%, was reported in 2011, inMinsk, Belarus

Isolates from all patients were shipped to the tuberculosislaboratory at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention andtested for susceptibility to 11 antituberculosis drugs. Riskfactors for being infected with a strain resistant to second-linedrugs as well as for having extensively drug resistant (XDR)tuberculosis were assessed.

Worrying figures

The large, prospective study of resistance to second-line drugsfor multidrug-resistant tuberculosis shows comprehensively that theprevalence of resistance is high (43·7%), and that the risk ofextensive drug-resistant tuberculosis (6·7%) in the eight countriesstudied is worrying.

The researchers state that previous treatment with second-linedrugs is a strong, consistent risk factor for resistance to thesedrugs. 


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